Tag Archives: perception

You’ll get the job if you focus on the right stuff

Understand the emotions and actions, ignore the words.

Down Syndrome vs down syndrome part 2

Merrilee has Down Syndrome, a medical condition.  At 9 years old she could read 150 words. At 18 she can now read maybe 300 words. She understands only very simple sentences.  Yet, she’s brilliant.  She understands very clearly what people are doing and feeling.  She is not distracted by their words, clothing or cars. Merrilee is not distracted by her own expectations.

Job seekers with down syndrome, a perception condition, communicate verbally and in writing much better than Merrilee.  Their down syndrome, however, makes it very difficult for them to understand, interpret and act on the emotions and actions of others.  They interpret everything through their biased perception filter.

Attitude really is everything in job hunting.  A hiring authority told me, “I hire almost entirely on attitude.  It’s easy to train someone if they have a good attitude.”  If a job hunter has down syndrome it doesn’t matter what they know, they will be a problem employee.

Job seekers with down syndrome assume the people around them are mean spirited, harsh, cruel, difficult and/or unfeeling.  When an HR department fails to respond to their resume, they assume rudeness.  When no one gets back to them after an interview they figure the interviewer is a rude jerk.  When they are probed about why they left their last job they think it’s an unnecessary mean streak. Having down syndrome causes you to find the worst no matter what happens.

When Merrilee, with Down Syndrome, is told, “No,” she understands the word.  She doesn’t understand explanations so she figures out what the other person’s real emotions are.  She understands that mostly “no” means not now.  She can feel when “no” means not for a long time.  She gets it when “no” means she could get seriously injured.

Your job hunting will be much more successful if you focus on what people are feeling and watch what they are actually doing.  Make it a habit to never take offense.  That company may literally have 500 worthless applications for one job and cannot reply to each applicant.  Your interviewer may be impressed, but unable to hire you.  He probably told HR that you have been turned down and HR is swamped with other work so they didn’t call to let you know.

Keep trying to get into the jobs and companies you are most interested in.  I called a manager about a job he filled the previous month.  He said, “That job is open again.  Can you help me fill it?”  One month later someone new will be hired.  Those who already gave up are out of the running.  His previous “no” meant “not now.”

————————-

Something To Do Today

If it has been over 3 months since you talked to someone at a target company, time to get back in touch.  Things change.  Find out what is happening there today.

Next  Down Syndrome vs down syndrome part 3

Zen: Perception really is everything

There are 10 guys with washboard stomachs and python like arms making $1,000,000 a year teaching others to exercise.  Each year a hundred men and women get PhD’s in exercise physiology and they will only become high school gym teachers. The guys making the big money work hard every day on how the world sees them. Perception really is everything in their world.

Actresses?  They have personal trainers, chefs and makeup artists who make more than most business executives.  They won’t leave their house without 2 hours of working on how you and I will perceive them. Perception is everything to them.

In every job there are people who, “Don’t care what others think.”  They are rarely the best paid person in the shop.  The ones who do care about “what others think” either succeed wonderfully or alienate others beyond belief.  The ones who succeed make sure their bosses know what they have accomplished and what their team did.  The ones who fail try to grab all the credit for everyone’s work, not just their own.  They fail because the perception becomes that they are conniving, scheming and untrustworthy.

Who do you respect?  Did they earn that honor?  If you respect a computer programmer because he “never sold out”, hasn’t he sold that perception?  A musician who is famous for “never going commercial” cultivated that precise image.  They all care for their image as carefully as Hulk Hogan of pro-wrestling fame.  A great salesman who never counts his commissions carefully implants that perception in his customers. That is what he sells: perception of himself as only interested in the customer’s success.

Figure out how you want to be perceived. Be that person.  Prove to your boss that you are that person with weekly reports that show it.  That same proof can be applied to your resume.  Show what you have caused to happen in the past and you’ll get the chance to do more in your next job. Perception will be reality.

About Today          

This series is about what makes or breaks a job hunt.  Reality and the real world.  My list of the reasons people get a new job or struggle includes:

  1. Nothing beats a positive unstoppable Helium II attitude.
  2. People who are hurting are terrible employees and everyone knows it.
  3. You have to know your advantages and ruthlessly exploit them.
  4. The people competing against you must be known, measured, and either beaten, eliminated or enticed elsewhere.
  5. You can’t make a silk purse out of a buggy whip.
  6. You have to be worth more than you are being paid
  7. A man dying of thirst will still want a bargain on a bottle of water
  8. Perception isn’t important, it is everything
  9. Character really counts
  10. Diamonds in the rough don’t stay that way
  11. Relax and get cleat marks up your back

Think about your job search. Just think.  And then take notes about your conclusions.

————————–

For 1 week:         Zen and the art of getting a job

Tomorrow:           Character counts

Later:                    Diamonds in the rough

Cleat marks up your back